Maureen Schuster: Nutritionist

Maureen is a nutritionist at a hospital in Everett, WA, as well as a house mom and a leader in an international ministry. Early in the evening of a fall day in 2001, she discovered an important purpose for her life. Without any warning, the story she lived in was about to change. She was attending a mid-week Bible study as good Evangelicals do. At the end of the study, the leader closed with a Lectio Divina scripture meditation. The facilitator read a passage and instructed the participants to insert their own name in the reading. So instead of “I Paul,” it was “I Maureen,” am called to, then she was to fill in the blank. As she meditated she clearly heard the following, “I Maureen, am called to the widow, the orphan, and the unloved.” She began to weep. It seemed to be so real. As she drove home, she processed her experience, and then shared it with her husband when she arrived home. Together, they agreed that this idea did not seem far-fetched because they had adopted their two children from Guatemala. Within a week, a friend called her and wanted to introduce her to a nurse practitioner who was planning to take a medical team to Guatemala. The nurse practitioner would be working in a small village with a local doctor along with his wife. She did not know about Maureen’s meditation experience at her Bible Study. She thought that she might be interested, since her two children had been adopted from Guatemala and because she worked two days a week as a nutritionist for a local hospital. She told her friend that she couldn’t go on such a trip because of her duties as a wife, mother, and worker outside the home. Her friend persisted by calling her often over the next few days. She finally asked for some information about the medical couple who was going to be working with the medical team. She specifically wanted to know what their passion was that would drive them to go to Guatemala. When she called Maureen back about a week later, she heard the following, “their heart was for the widow, the orphan, and the unloved.” As she shared this story with me, she told me that she got goose bumps all over her body and knew instantly that she was going to Guatemala. That trip caused a story change in her life. She had discovered what she was made to do in the larger Story of God. When she returned to USAmerica, she helped form a non-profit organization called Hands of Love. Today, she spends part of her time fund-raising for the needs of widows and orphans. Hands of Love has raised money to build a well that provides water for 400 families, money for the poor to buy goats, and recently finished building a medical and dental clinic for an impoverished village. In addition, she sets up teams to go to minister to poor villages. Once living in a story which was wife, mom, and worker outside the home, which certainly is a worthy calling, she now finds additional meaning by having her story broadened to include working for the sake of others thousands of miles from the comfort of her home in the state of Washington in USAmerica.